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How to Make a Santa "The Morning After" Ornament

Follow these steps from Linda Hess to make your own santa ornament.


Premo! Sculpey clay: silver #5129, beige #5092, cadmium red #5382, white #5001, cobalt blue #5063, pearl #5101
Sculpey clay: beige #093, leaf green #322
8 oz. cup with tapered sides
pasta machine *
Aetco circle cutters
liquid clay
iridescent round beads
straight cutting blade
Polyform sculpting tool set
turkey lacer or small knitting needle
2 large jump rings (5/8") or 18-gauge silver wire
regular jump ring or eye pin

* Note: #1 is the thickest setting on Linda's machine.

Figure A


1. For the tub: Tear off a piece of foil about 6 inches wide. Fold it lengthwise into thirds. Turn your cup over so the base faces up. Wrap the foil strip around the base of your cup. As you are wrapping, leave about 1/2-inch overhang that can be folded over the base of the cup (figure A). This becomes the mold for your tub.

2. Condition 1-1/2 ounces of the silver clay. Make a log of clay about 1-1/2-inch wide and flatten with your fingers. Roll the log sideways through the pasta machine on a #2 setting. Lay the strip of clay on your work surface. Use the straight blade to cut both long sides so your strip is 1-1/2-inch wide and has smooth edges.

Figure B

3. With the acrylic rod, press/roll one of the edges flat. This will become the edge of the tub. After the whole length has been flattened, roll the clay edge back until it touches the thicker edge (figure B).

4. Pick up the strip of clay and wrap it around the foil-covered cup. Be sure the straight cut edge is even with the bottom of the cup. Cut away any excess silver clay, smooth the seam, and press the clay against the mold.

5. Roll any excess clay back through the pasta machine on a #2 or #3 setting. Cut a circle out of the clay that is the same size or larger than the bottom of the cup. Press this circle to the bottom of the cup, making sure it touches the clay edge all the way around. Cut away any excess clay and smooth the seams.

6. Using your turkey lacer or small knitting needle, detail the sides of the tub. Draw two or three parallel lines all the way around the tub.

7. Optional detail: If desired, add a large jump ring (or 5/8-inch circle of silver wire) to each side of the tub. These need to be placed just under the rim on opposite sides of the tub. To attach the rings, roll two pea-sized balls of silver clay, flatten the balls, and place one over the top edge of each ring. Press into place. Detail can be added to the handles by gently poking the top and bottom with a turkey lacer or knitting needle (be careful not to poke through).

8. Slide the tub off the cup. Bake at 275 F degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool before starting Santa directions.

9. To make Santa: Condition and marbleize equal parts pearl and cobalt blue clay (about 1/2 ounce each). Roll blend through pasta machine on #2 or #3 setting. Cut a circle of the blend using a cutter that is the same size or a bit bigger than the inside of the tub.

10. Tear off a strip of foil and crumple it. Don't worry about crushing it to get all the air out; any bubbles that result will just add to the look of your ornament. Place a crumpled ball of foil in the bottom of the baked tub and flatten until the tub is about half full. Cover the foil with the clay circle.

Figure C

11. Tear off another piece of foil about 3 to 4 inches wide. Crumple to form Santa's upper body. This piece SHOULD be well and tightly crushed together to ensure the air is out of the foil. Flatten the bottom of your body against your work surface. Place the "body" in the tub (figure C). Is it large enough for a body? If not, wrap it with another layer of foil. Don't forget the foil body will be covered in clay and that will add a bit of bulk to the shape. Linda's foil body measured 1-1/2 x 1".

12. Blend together 2 ounces of beige Premo plus 2 ounces beige Sculpey clay. Mix until you have a uniform color. Roll the blend through the pasta machine on #1. Cut a strip of clay large enough to wrap the foil body. Cut away any excess clay. Roll and smooth seams. Be sure to get out any and all air bubbles!

13. Hold this up to the tub. Is the size right for the tub? If it is too small, add another layer. Tummy too small? Add another layer just to the tummy area (remember this is Santa!).

Figure D

14. Now Santa needs some swim shorts--red, white and green, of course. Condition 1/4 ounce each of red, pearl and leaf green clays. Roll the red and pearl through the pasta machine on #1. Roll the leaf green through on #3. Stack the red and pearl sheets. Cut in half. Layer the green sheet on top of one red/pearl stack, then lay the other red/pearl stack on top. Cut and stack one more time (figure D). Clan up the sides of the stack by cutting with the straight blade.

Figure E

15. Cut one slice about 1/8-inch thick and lay it on the work surface with the stripes facing you. Cut three 4-1/4-inch strips (across all of the stripes) and lay them side-to-side. Gently press them together, and then wrap the entire strip around Santa's lower belly. Press the swim shorts into place; then press Santa into the tub (figure E).

16. We can't leave Santa without a head! Crumple a small ball of foil into a round ball (about 5/8 inch, maybe a bit larger depending upon the size of Santa's body). Roll any leftover beige blend on a #1 setting. Cut strips and wrap the head. Go around the diameter of the headfirst. Cut off the excess where it meets; then smooth seams and cover any holes. Just like the body, make sure you get any/all bubbles out before moving on.

17. Apply a second layer of the beige clay. Once the seams are sealed, roll the ball of clay between your palms until smooth.

18. Look at the ball next to the body and choose where you would like the nose. Using your thumb and index finger, pinch the clay out; then press down on the "bridge" of the nose and under the nose. Smooth the area until the nose has a nice shape. Use the curved edge tool to draw on the eyes and mouth.

19. When you are pleased with the face, press a toothpick into the bottom of the head. Press the other end of the toothpick into the top of the body. If the toothpick is too long, break in half before pressing pieces together.

20. Roll two 1/4-inch skin-tone balls. Roll each between your thumb and index finger to create a log. Place one log on each side of Santa's head for ears.

Figure F

21. Using the "pokey" tool, push into the center of each and press the clay against his head (figure F)

Figure G

22. Roll two 1-inch balls of skin-tone clay. Place on your work surface and roll each into a log about 3-1/4 inches long. These will be Santa's legs. Pick up one of the legs and bend over 3/4 to 1 inch from the end. Pinch at the bend (figure G). Bend at the knee.

23. Use the straight edge tool to press toes into the foot. Repeat with other leg and foot. Press the legs into the tub with the feet hanging over the edge.

Figure H

24. Roll two 3/4-inch balls of skin-tone clay. Roll each ball between your fingers until it looks like a ball on an arm. Flatten the ball slightly. Check the size of the hand against the size of Santa's body and his feet (you don't want them too large or small!). Cut fingers with the straight edge tool (figure H) and smooth the edges with your fingers.

Figure I

25. Bend at the elbow and press into place at shoulder. Bend fingers as though they are settled on the sides of the tub. Fingernails can be added with a simple tool: Cut a coffee stirrer in half from the end of the straw. Cut up about 1/2 inch; then cut away the excess (figure I). Press fingernail tool into clay fingers and toenails if desired.

Figure J

26. Condition 1/2 ounce white clay. Pinch off bits and roll them into skinny snakes (about 1/8 inch wide). Cut 1-1/2-inch pieces off the snakes. Fold in half and press to Santa's face along the beard line, going all the way to his ear. Drape the last strand up and over his ear (figure J). A slight twist to the clay snake will give Santa a curly beard.

27. Cut two more snakes for the mustache. Fold these in half and pinch together at the ends. For his eyebrows, roll two tiny 1/8-inch balls of pearl. Roll them out to a tapered teardrop and place one over each eye.

28. Roll out more snakes of pearl clay and cut long strands (about 4 inches) for his hair. Fold the strands in half and place around his head. Continue to add hair until you are happy with the look.

29. Finally, pour a layer of iridescent beads into the tub. Cover this layer with liquid clay to help seal the beads into the tub. Note! Plastic beads will melt during baking and give the bath a frothy look. Glass beads will remain round.

30. Place a jump ring or eye pin into the top of Santa's head. Be sure to press the clay into the loop well so it won't come out when Santa is hanging. Roll up a paper towel and place it under Santa's feet as a prop. Without this prop, his feet may sag during baking. If his head is leaning way back, you may want to place a prop behind his head as well (an upside-down glass votive cup will work well).

31. Bake the project at 275 F degrees for 45 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

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